Friday, November 29, 2013

weekend to do


make bubbe's favourite cranberry sauce
finish holiday shopping
order holiday cards
family thanksgivukkah party!

around the house
put up christmas lights
post items on craigslist / etsy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

in gratitude (tradition)

we gathered together with friends like family, as has become our tradition.

and as has become our tradition, pie making fell to us. this year we presented:

salted caramel


pumpkin banana mousse

chocolate pecan

and as has become our tradition, we worked to get a photo for our holiday card.


(not this one!)

i am so grateful for these two. for their eternal sunshine. and for their dad. and for the friends and family that surround our little circle. for traditions honored and created. so grateful.

happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

happy hanukkah!

today we prepared for thanksgiving

but tonight we pause, and revel in the light & love.

happy hanukkah

happy hanukkah.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

12 hikes :: november :: san vicente mountain park

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

For National "Take A Hike" Day we headed off, close to home, for a hike that wasn't so much about communing with nature, as connecting to some local history. "[F]rom 1956-1968, San Vicente Mountain was one of sixteen Los Angeles area Nike-Ajax supersonic anti-aircraft missile launch sites. During the Cold War, Nike sites were located in defensive rings surrounding key urban and industrial areas throughout the United States. This site contained ground-based radar and computer systems designed to detect and track hostile aircraft, and to guide the anti-aircraft missiles that would be launched from nearby Sepulveda Basin to their targets." Along with this bit of cold-war nostalgia, the area offers spectacular 360 views of downtown, the SFV, and all the way to the Pacific.

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

San Vicente Mountain Park
17500 Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Neighborhood: Encino

Proximity: 8 miles
Hike length: about 2.5 miles
Bonus features: Nike site
Tips: Definitely not a destination that feels like an escape from the city, but a good destination for quick urban hike. The kids were fascinated by the old infrastructure. While the weather was warm and sunny at home, by the time we reached the top of the mountain it was quite chilly. Bring change for the telescope!

* * * * *

K: 10/10. I liked the tower. We could see the whole valley from there.

E: 9/10. It was a lot of fun to climb up that tower ;)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

saturday bookshelf :: week three


Title: Woodcutters

Author: Thomas Bernhard

Reader: D

Thoughts: I've read about half a dozen books by this author. Translated from German. I guess I'm a secret hipster. So what is this book about. Well it's more about the author's constant critique of the bourgeois in Austria. He dissects them in such a loathsome manner one would think it as pure hatred, but I think that he is trying to inspire them to be better, truer, more substantial human beings.

In the excerpt below, Bernhard derides the Auersbergers, old friends that he now is estranged from...Yet accepts an invitation to an artistic dinner. (intellectual masochism)

"All her life she was constantly trying to escape from her origins, just as he was from his - she from the idyll of her gentle Styrian birth, he from the paternal destiny of petty local officialdom and the maternal low pressure zone inhabited by butcher's assistants - all of which was bound to appear irresistibly comic to anyone around them who had eyes to see and ears to hear."

Boring you say? Well it gets bleaker. Bernhard writes this singular thought diatribe of a novel in one paragraph(180 pages). Sheesh. He is relentless in his character attack of the Austrian people and takes no prisoners. Banned in Austria. Reads like a weird art film.

Friday, November 15, 2013

weekend to do


violin recital
dress shopping with e (her friends are all starting to celebrate 13!)
finish hanukah shopping
finalize progressive dinner list
take a hike.

around the house
store away outdoor cushions for winter
plant kale
deep clean coop
build rainbarrel

while listening to this and this (go sfv!)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


d and i on our wedding day. with his eldest brother. 14 years ago.

this day is always worth celebrating.

we keep it low key. but there is a good red wine. a toast. and pumpkin pie for dessert.

the girls giggled when we looked at photos together.

14 feels good.

Monday, November 11, 2013

happy baby

young and old (2 to 84!) from around the 'hood came together - pups too! - for a shower to celebrate a new wee neighbor's arrival. she is still a month away - and so worth celebrating! we think her mom and dad are awesome. and feel very lucky to call them our friends.

the girls and i pulled off some simple decorations: tassle garland and some geronimo inspired balloons. d did a nifty "happy baby" papercut inspired by this. we reneged on the games - but did have a "tip jar" and a onesies decorating station for the kids. we served brunch - my go-to fritatta, crab cakes, potatoes, and lots of carbs, sweet and savory. of course there were bloody mary's (virgin and otherwise), mimosas and coffee.

happy baby


happy baby

happy baby

happy baby

we can not wait to meet her.

(e made sure they will have matching shoes. xo.)

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday Bookshelf :: week two

I try not to edit what the girls want to read*. (love Neil Gaiman on this subject.) it is not always easy - and these days finds them reading things as disparate as poorly written movie tie-ins to heady young adult material. I've noticed that they don't really come to anything before they are ready to talk about it. and books have always, for me, provided a wonderful opportunity to talk about it.

looking for alaska001

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Reader: E

Thoughts: "When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books"

Looking for Alaska is the story of sixteen year old Miles, nicknamed "Pudge, who moves to a new boarding school. Through his roomate Chip he meets a girl named Alaska. She has a tragic life. The story is funny, adventurous and sad. It keeps you thinking because it is a bit of a mystery too. It is so well written; I really love this book.

Mom note: this book holds some pretty sophisticated stuff - and is recommended for grades 9 and up. I'm reading it now and preparing for some discussion around various subject matter.

*for the record I do edit what I buy for them. thank goodness for our neighborhood public library.

Friday, November 08, 2013

weekend to do

happy weekend

celebrate the imminent arrival of a baby
fancy party balloon diy
bake fritattas
bake cinnamon rolls
beverages, fruit, etc.
coffee maker
double check on potluck list
pick-up carrot cake and decorate at home

around the house
prep csa fruits & veggies
finish office clean-out
drop to the goodwill
meal plan
bake cookies

happy weekend!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

room to grow :: KJG

room to grow :: KJG

K's room is a bit less of an undertaking, in comparison to E's. she will be keeping the bunkbed and dresser (that were once shared by d and his brother!)while swapping out the shelves for something with a smaller footprint and having some fun with bedding and accessories. she still loves to play with her barn and horses - and we want the shelves to hold her growing collection, as well as her library. right now, a study spot isn't important for her - as she is still happy to do homework with me in the kitchen. the shelving will be able to accommodate a real work station at a future date.

one horse mobile (no longer available) by royalbuffet
two H&M heart sheets
three petit chateau duvet cover by land of nod
four sondotter icelandic horse pillow
five horse print bedding by graham & green
six kartel componibili sidetable
seven gingham patchwork quilt by craftyblossom
eight shelf inspiration by aurelie lecuyer via turbulences-deco

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

leftover magic

leftover magic

as our activity schedule ramps up with the holiday season my meal planning becomes more important. a favourite around here is anything you can eat with your hands. handpies / pasties are always a hit.

monday i made a new (one pot!) favorite spiced yellow rice with chicken and vegetables and tonight i wrapped the leftovers up in puff pastry. presto. (and tomorrow these will hit the lunchboxes! i love stretching a meal.)


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Saturday Bookself :: week one

"This or any other procedure is merely a dam against the springtide of memories which surges toward any collector as he contemplates his possessions..."

do you know walter benjamin's essay on "unpacking my library"? it is filled with quotes like the one above. and well worth a read. (or reread as the case may be.)

i am in the process of packing up the girls' "library" and am incredibly nostaligic as i box up so many memories along with the books. i struggled with what to do with these. and part of me knows i should let them go / pass them on. but i am a collector by nature and a bibliophile too and so the most dear are being put away, with the hope that they will be shared again with someone i love, someday.

i want to start documenting (weekly) what we are reading here. both as an incentive (for me) to finish books i begin and to record what we can about what we are reading.


Curve of Time001

Title: The Curve of Time

Author: M. Wylie Blanchet

Reader: T

Thoughts: This is one of those books that in the beginning I wasn't sure about but by the end found myself transformed by. It is an epic true tale of a mom and her five children (and their dog) exploring the coast of British Columbia on their 25 foot boat Caprice over fifteen summers in the late 1920s early 1930s. (The same boat from which her husband disappeared, leaving her a widow.)

There is so much I could say. This is a book about a place I have loved - and describes a landscape etched in my own heart. (White shell beaches, purple sea stars, barnacles underfoot...) It is a book about adventure and raising children and being a mom. On death. And on living.

Its not terribly well written - but it provided personal connections that made it hard to put down.

"Destiny rarely follows the pattern we would choose for it and the legacy of death often shapes our lives in ways we could not imagine."

It is a book I will read again. (And again.)

Friday, November 01, 2013

6th (maybe 7th) annual parade

Boo 2013

Boo 2013

Boo 2013

Boo 2013

Boo 2013

Boo 2013

so this year my kid was officially the oldest who participated in the parade. there are a good number of littles in the 'hood now. fun to see the next generation connect - kids and parents.